Council of the European Union Brussels, 31 May 2016 (OR. en)

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1 Council of the European Union Brussels, 31 May 2016 (OR. en) 9685/16 ADD 3 COVER NOTE From: date of receipt: 26 May 2016 To: TELECOM 106 MI 400 IND 120 COMPET 343 PI 67 RECH 215 DIGIT 62 Secretary-General of the European Commission, signed by Mr Jordi AYET PUIGARNAU, Director Mr Jeppe TRANHOLM-MIKKELSEN, Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union No. Cion doc.: SWD(2016) 187 final - PART 4/5 Subject: COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT Europe's Digital Progress Report 2016 Delegations will find attached document SWD(2016) 187 final - PART 4/5. Encl.: SWD(2016) 187 final - PART 4/5 9685/16 ADD 3 CB/ek DGE 2B EN

2 EUROPEAN COMMISSION Brussels, SWD(2016) 187 final PART 4/5 COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT Europe's Digital Progress Report 2016 EN EN

3 A report complementing the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 1 country profile BELGIUM Belgium ranks fifth out of the 28 EU Member States according to the European Commission's Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) Belgium performs better than the EU average but it has improved at a slower rate than the EU as a whole, which places it in the lagging ahead cluster 3 of countries. However, compared with the previous year, Belgium has still improved or maintained its good position in all DESI dimensions. The country is a top performer in connectivity; citizens in Belgium are avid Internet users; and Belgian businesses are second in Europe when it comes to electronic information sharing through business management software. The supply of Digital Public Services improved over the last period. Belgium's performance in the five DESI dimensions relative to other EU countries 1 Connectivity Belgium is one of the leading performers in connectivity in Europe. The country scores second in the EU but progress is slow. The coverage of the country is complete and 99% of the country is covered by fast networks (at least 30 Mbps). 78% of households subscribe to fixed broadband, and three quarters of these are fast broadband subscriptions. Compared with its overall performance, Belgium is slightly lagging behind on the use of mobile internet. In order to keep its leading position, Belgium needs to address two challenges in the area of fast Internet connectivity: first, to further increase the uptake of mobile broadband as mobile devices are becoming an essential gateway for consumers to communicate, work and shop in the digital economy. Indeed, the uptake of mobile broadband has accelerated recently and Belgium has also engaged in the surfmobile campaign to inform citizens about the benefits of mobile broadband. Secondly, in order to keep its leadership position in connectivity, the country must encourage the deployment of ultrafast broadband connections (above 100 Mbps). Whereas operators have in previous years upgraded their legacy copper and coaxial cable networks, ultrafast networks will require installation of fibre, connecting businesses and households directly at their premises. The strategy "Digital Belgium" presented in 2015 outlines the digital long-term vision for the country and sets out five priorities 4. The strategy also covers a Plan for Ultrafast Internet in Belgium. It ambition is that half of all connections in Belgium should achieve Internet speeds of up to 1 Gbps by 1 The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) is a composite index developed by the European Commission (DG CNECT) to assess the development of EU countries towards a digital economy and society. It aggregates a set of relevant indicators structured around 5 dimensions: Connectivity, Human Capital, Use of Internet, Integration of Digital Technology and Digital Public Services. It clusters countries in four groups: Running ahead, Lagging ahead, Catching up and Falling behind. For more information about the DESI please refer to 2 DESI country profile for Belgium: 3 Other countries lagging ahead are: Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Sweden and the United Kingdom. 4 Wallonia and Vlaanderen also have "digital strategies", presented in Page 1

4 2020. Belgium follows a market-based approach to achieve its connectivity targets. Cable provider Telenet announced an upgrade its network to reach Gigabit connectivity; but these announcements have not yet been matched by operators in other parts of the country. The government also wants to boost the further roll-out of mobile broadband technologies, such as 4G/LTE and prepare the ground for 5G. Lowering deployment costs has a positive effect on the business case and encourages operators to make network investments. For instance, according to the Belgian federal authorities, the tax on the use of masts and pylons and certain radiation standards are an obstacle for quicker deployment. The authorities plan to consult the competent bodies to point out the impact of these measures upon investment. Finally, Belgium still has to transpose the Cost Reduction Directive 5 which could help to speed up broadband roll-out. 2 - Human Capital In terms of human capital, Belgium performs above EU average but progress is slow. Belgium has a significant share of regular Internet users (83%), and 60% of citizens have basic digital skills but 13% of all Belgians between 16 and 74 years have never used the Internet. The transmission of technology into new ideas and products also hinges on the availability of a vast pool of aptly-skilled workers. While Belgium disposes of an overall qualified workforce with a high participation rate in tertiary education, the country has a low share of graduates in science, technology and mathematics ( STEM ). Shortages in these fields could become a major barrier to growth and innovation, with scarcities already emerging for certain functions which require, for example, digital skills. In 2015, 46% of enterprises with job vacancies requiring specialised ICT skills reported problems in filling these positions. There is thus a shortage of qualified ICT experts which is estimated to rise from about 8,000 persons in 2012 to 30,000 in To boost digital skills in the population, the Belgian authorities have launched "Digital Champions", a Belgian digital skills coalition. The initiative federates several existing schemes and also experiments with new approaches such as bringing ICT professionals to schools to inspire young people. At community and regional levels, various measures have been taken to tackle the low share of new science and engineering graduates. In Flanders, the STEM action plan aims at increasing the number of students in STEM subjects and a similar initiative is underway in the French-speaking part of Belgium. Building on these initiatives, for example a stronger dialogue between the educational systems and companies to match graduates and labour market demand can further boost digital skills for all target groups. 5 Directive 2014/61/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on measures to reduce the cost of deploying high-speed electronic communications networks (OJ L155, 23 May 2014, p. 1) 6 empirica, e-skills in Europe, country report Belgium, study commissioned by European Commission, Page 2

5 3 - Use of internet Belgium performs very well regarding the use of internet services. Citizens in Belgium are keen Internet users and engage in a broad range of online activities, like reading news online, listening to music, watching films and playing games online, using the Internet to communicate via video calls or through social networks, and obtain video content using their broadband connections (73% of households subscribe to Video on Demand). 4 - Integration of Digital Technology Belgium performs and progresses very well concerning the integration of digital technology into business. Belgian businesses increasingly exploit most of the possibilities offered by on-line commerce, social media and cloud-based applications. Electronic information sharing is popular with businesses and Belgian SMEs are relatively strong in selling online cross-border. Almost a quarter of its SMEs sell online and 13% do so cross-border, an important channel to address wider markets. "Digital Belgium" and the regional action plans rightly identify that more needs to be done, in particular for SMEs, to boost the use of digital technologies. To do so, Belgium and the regions could make good use of the European Structural and Investment Funds for the period ,as funding has been earmarked for the digitisation of the economy. To support entrepreneurs, Belgium launched a tax shelter for digital startups. It also features a number of initiatives in the area of industry 4.0, such as Made Different, Marshall 4.0 and Make Minds. 5 - Digital Public Services In the dimension of Digital Public Services, Belgium is performing well and making good progress. There was growth in most of the monitored categories with the exception of the percentage of internet users returning filled forms. The complexity of Belgium's political governance structures also has implications for this policy area, as many public sector actors share responsibility in this field. For instance, the potential offered by ICT is not being exploited in the judiciary. However, Belgium is on a promising trajectory with a plethora of different projects 7 delivering their impacts. For instance, in 2015, the Flemish government adopted the Vlaanderen Radicaal Digitaal programme. This programme aims to digitally transform regional (and local) government, by using innovative ICT technology. In March 2015, the electronic prescription Recip-e was launched based on a previous study done under the supervision of the federal Public Service of Health. This service is intended to replace paper prescriptions in the mid-term and already accepted by more than 90% of general practitioners. In July 2015, the Belgian federal government presented its Federal Open Data Strategy ("Stratégie fédérale 'Open Data'; Federale open data-strategie"). The strategy aims to make all government data open by default, except information that has privacy or security implications. Everybody will be allowed to use public data for non-profit as well as commercial applications, for free. 7 For an overview, see: %20February%202016%20-%2018_00%20-%20v2_00.pdf Page 3

6 Belgium has a national eid Card which serves for both authentication on most Belgian public administration websites and for esignature of electronic documents. Highlight: Fix My Street Bruxelles/Brussel As of April 2015, all 19 communes of Brussels are active members of Fix My Street Brussels, a web and mobile platform that allows citizens and the administration to report incidents in the public space. The website and mobile app were developed and are maintained by the informatics Centre for the Brussels Region (CIRB). The application enables localization and description of the damage, as well as it comprises an update tool that informs citizens and administration at each stage of the handling of the incident. Although an assessment of the impact has not been carried out so far, this is a promising service combining crowdsourcing of data for management of the public space, allowing citizens to track the progress made by public authorities. Page 4

7 A report complementing the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 1 country profile Bulgaria ranks 27 th out of the 28 EU Member States in the European Commission Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) Bulgaria falls into the falling behind cluster 3 of countries that score below the EU average and grew slower than the EU as a whole since last year. Bulgarians who use the Internet on a regular basis perform a wide variety of activities online but low levels of digital skills hamper the further use of digital technologies by citizens and by enterprises. BULGARIA 1 Connectivity In Connectivity Bulgaria's performance is below the EU average and its progress is limited. While access to fast broadband-enabled services is a necessary condition for competitiveness, the Bulgaria's performance in the five DESI dimensions relative to other EU countries development of broadband networks in Bulgaria is lagging behind. The total fixed broadband coverage is 95% of households (97% in the EU) but in rural areas it's considerably below the EU average, 60% of homes compared with 91% in the EU. The coverage of next-generation access (NGA) network is at 72% of homes covered similar to EU average but only 3% in rural areas. On the take-up side, Bulgaria continues to have one of the lowest shares of homes with a fixed broadband subscription, 55% of homes compared with 72% average in EU. This might be due both to a lack of digital skills in the population and to the low availability of broadband infrastructure outside the main cities, leading to a digital divide between urban and rural areas. Furthermore, the lengthy permits procedure for network deployment and low public funding hold back investment in the sector. Although the coverage of 4G mobile networks still remains quite limited, recent progress made on this front deserve to be mentioned. As of early May the entire harmonized 1800 MHz band had been assigned. Nevertheless while wireless broadband has the potential to bridge the urban-rural divide, the lack of clear and constructive plans for repurposing the bands for mobile broadband (800MHz and the 700 MHz bands) exacerbates the problem. However, there are ongoing efforts to repurpose the 800 MHz that is planned to start by the initial release of 2x5 MHz or 2x10 MHz. Despite the progress made on the GHz band, which the Bulgarian authorities made available for civil use over the entire country in September 2015, the availability of the 800 MHz and 700 MHz for civil use is expected to have the highest impact on raising connectivity. 1 The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) is a composite index developed by the European Commission (DG CNECT) to assess the development of EU countries towards a digital economy and society. It aggregates a set of relevant indicators structured around 5 dimensions: Connectivity, Human Capital, Use of Internet, Integration of Digital Technology and Digital Public Services. It clusters countries in four groups: Running ahead, Lagging ahead, Catching up and Falling behind. For more information about the DESI please refer to 2 DESI Country Profile for Bulgaria: 3 Other falling behind countries are Czech Republic, Greece, France, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. Page 5

8 Bulgaria s broadband strategy, "National Broadband Infrastructure Plan for Next Generation Access," published in 2014 sets targets in line with the Digital Agenda for Europe: 100% coverage with 30 Mbps until 2020, and 50% take-up rate for 100 Mbps. Furthermore, it aims at 80% take-up rate (100 Mbps) for businesses by 2020 and foresees the need for a 150 Million investment. A roadmap including measures and actions for the effective fulfilment of the plan and the use of funding allocated under the European Structural and Investment Funds RDP has also been developed. In this respect, Bulgaria completed in December 2015 the first NGA broadband network project co-financed by the European Fund for Regional Development ( ) and allocated 30 Million for the rollout of further NGA broadband projects under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development ( ). It aims at further reducing construction costs by combining them with the costs of road rehabilitation and other infrastructure projects. Moreover, small scale national state aid is also available in cooperation with local authorities, while public-private partnership is an integral part of the national broadband strategy. Lastly, Bulgaria was particularly active and submitted some well advanced projects in the context of Connected Communities Initiative 4 (CCI), a joint European Commission and World Bank initiative. The lack of availability of sufficient sub-1ghz spectrum (800MHz and 700 MHz bands in particular) in Bulgaria is critical with respect to the nation-wide deployment of high-quality wireless broadband services for economy, society and the expanding Internet of Things on the path to 5G, and in fulfilment of the Union's broadband and spectrum targets. Bulgaria still has to transpose the Cost Reduction Directive 5 which could help to speed up broadband roll-out. 2 Human Capital In Human capital, Bulgaria's performance is well below EU average; but Bulgaria's progress is at EU average. Despite the existence of many highly skilled Bulgarian ICT professionals, in Bulgaria there is still a shortage of software specialists. The number of STEM (science, technology and mathematics) graduates slightly increased (1.4% of graduates). However, the digital skills in the overall workforce and population are among the lowest in the EU as only about a third (31%) of Bulgarians possess at least basic digital skills compared with more than half in the EU. A Bulgarian Digital National Alliance 6 for Digital Jobs was launched as part of the European Commission's Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs initiative. In the field of education the Bulgarian Government adopted a "Strategy for the effective implementation of ICT in Education ( )". Its main purpose is to provide equal and flexible access to education. By way of implementation, a new law was adopted on pre-school and school education and amendments made to the existing Higher Education Act. The new law on pre-school and school education includes several provisions on ICT teaching in schools. It is envisaged that digital competences will be included in the new school curricula as key competences, with references to specialized training in computer sciences and support for individual development. For higher education, the Ministry of Education and Science is implementing a number of changes, identification of protected specialisations benefiting from new places in universities and state funding that would bring a wider pool of quality ICT professionals in the next years. The planned education reform will improve ICT related education in schools and universities, which will help the level of digital literacy of cohorts entering the labour market, and will increase the pool of ICT professionals. However, Bulgaria could also benefit from a clear strategy for equipping the Directive 2014/61/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on measures to reduce the cost of deploying high-speed electronic communications networks (OJ L155, 23 May 2014, p. 1) 6 Page 6

9 labour force with the required digital skills. Funding for lifelong learning initiatives for workers of all ages can be provided through the European Social Fund, in particular the Human Resources Development Operational programme. 3 Use of Internet In Bulgaria Use of Internet services is below EU average (only 55% of the population are Internet users) and progress is slow. The most popular online activity in Bulgaria is making video calls and participating in social networks and young people (16-24 years old) are the most active age group. However Bulgarian Internet users engage the least in online transactions such as online banking (9.4%) and online shopping (31%) most probably due to lack of digital skills and mistrust in the online environment. 4 Integration of Digital Technology As regards the Integration of digital technologies by businesses, Bulgaria' performance is below the EU average and its progress is limited. More and more SMEs are selling online but the numbers are low, at only 6% - flat since last year - of SMEs selling online and 3% (up from 2%) for those selling online to other EU Member States. The silver lining is the emergence of a startup ecosystem in Bulgaria which is evolving significantly. The boom of information-technology outsourcing, hardware and software solutions has attracted many international companies, resulting in the rising of Bulgaria's reputation as an excellent source of bright minds. These developments have in turn stimulated entrepreneurship, as many professionals with years of corporate experience have started their own ventures. The startup ecosystem is growing thanks to co-working spaces such as Betahaus, SOHO and CowOrKing as well as local venture funds LAUNCHub 7 and Eleven 8 boosted by investment through the Joint European Resources for Micro and Medium Enterprises (JEREMIE) programme of the European Investment Fund. Several international venture capital funds and strong angel investors backed local companies which have become global success stories today 9. Bulgarian businesses could more benefit from the possibilities offered by online commerce and the integration of other digital technologies. They could also benefit from an Industry 4.0 strategy. Highlight: Sofia Tech Park creates a unique environment for innovation Sofia Tech Park opened its doors at the end of last year. Sofia Tech Park is a state-owned company working to boost innovation, research and technological development through various projects for which it creates partnerships with private and public institutions. Eleven laboratories for information and communications technology (ICT), biotechnology and green energy are located on the territory of the park based on Tsarigradsko Shose Blvd, on the outskirts of Sofia. The Park aims to foster knowledge exchange between academia and business while supporting startups and innovative ideas, thus providing a catalyst for commercialisation of research and making Bulgarian science and entrepreneurship more competitive. The Sofia Tech Park also plans continuing hosting major ICT events in the Balkans Start-up Manifesto Policy Tracker, Track progress in Bulgaria. Page 7

10 5 Digital Public Services In terms of digital public services, Bulgaria's performance is well below the EU average and it is only making average progress. On the availability side, Bulgaria has progressed but there is room for improvement in re-using information across administrations in order to make life easier for citizens. However, the usage rate of egovernment services remains one of the lowest in the EU28. In spring 2014, Bulgaria adopted a Strategy for the development of egovernment in , and recently, a roadmap for the implementation of the Strategy for the period This was followed by the adoption of a Strategy for introducing "egovernance and e-justice ", which aims to improve the efficiency of the e-justice sector in the country. A number of follow-up steps have been undertaken since then. The government has approved a proposal for the creation of a dedicated egovernance agency which is tasked with the strategic and budgetary planning of egovernment policies as well as with the development and maintenance of the technical infrastructure, information centres and the communications network of the public administration. On 11 May 2016, Bulgaria adopted a bill on electronic identification, as a major step in the context of Regulation (EU) N 910/2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (eidas Regulation). Since some provisions, which foresaw the embedding of a chip in identity documents, were dropped from the final text, a new proposal was put forward to amend and supplement the law on Bulgarian identity documents. It foresees that, as of 1 January 2018, the Ministry of Interior will be able to issue electronic identity documents. The progress of Bulgaria in the area of digital public services will depend on the speed and quality of implementation of the proposed legislative and structural changes in the state administration. Follow-up of decisions remains crucial. In the area of electronic identification and authentication (eid) Bulgaria has not yet made use of the funding provided by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for building the national eid node which would ensure interoperability with other Member States' notified eid schemes. Bulgaria would benefit from participation in future CEF calls. Using various platforms and funding mechanisms, the EU contributes to the sharing of best practices between EU Member States. For instance through the Joinup platform the ISA progamme and the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Page 8

11 A report complementing the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 1 country profile CZECH REPUBLIC The Czech Republic ranks 17 th out of the 28 EU Member States in the European Commission Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) , down from 15 th place a year before. The Czech Republic is part of the falling behind cluster 3 of countries because its DESI score is below the EU average and grew slower than that of the EU over the last year. While performing averagely in Connectivity, progress is slow in terms of human capital and almost the same applies for the integration of digital technology by businesses. Some progress took place in the development of digital public services but performance remains limited both on the supply and the demand side. 1 Connectivity The Czech Republic's performance in the five DESI dimensions relative to other EU countries In Connectivity, the Czech Republic's performance and progress are at the EU average level. The country maintains its level of fixed broadband coverage of households (98%) and progressed in next generation access (NGA) coverage (73%), slightly better than the EU average (respectively 97% and 71%). However in rural areas only 6% of households are covered by NGA; this is much below the 28% average across the EU. Take-up of subscriptions to fixed fast (>= 30Mbps) broadband is at 31% of subscriptions; so close to the EU average of 30%. On the mobile side, more than 90% of population is covered by LTE networks. However, in terms of assignment of harmonised spectrum, at 55%, the Czech Republic is ranked 23rd in the EU. The tender launched on 3 February 2016 in the 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz bands is expected to raise the level of assignment to 64%; but this is still below the EU average of 69%. Meanwhile, in terms of mobile broadband take-up, the Czech Republic is also below the EU average (respectively 71 and 75 subscribers/100 people). 1 The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) is a composite index developed by the European Commission (DG CNECT) to assess the development of EU countries towards a digital economy and society. It aggregates a set of relevant indicators structured around 5 dimensions: Connectivity, Human Capital, Use of Internet, Integration of Digital Technology and Digital Public Services. It clusters countries in four groups: Running ahead, Lagging ahead, Catching up and Falling behind. For more information about the DESI please refer to 2 DESI Country Profile for the Czech Republic: 3 Other falling behind countries are Bulgaria, Greece, France, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. Page 9

12 In the Programming period, the Czech Republic allocated an significant share of its European Structural and Investment Funds to the deployment of broadband infrastructure. In the Operational Programme Enterprise and Innovations for competitiveness (OPEIC), 520 Million are available and should be able to significantly narrow down the gap in rural broadband coverage. However, the initiative has been delayed: the OPEIC was adopted late and the thematic ex-ante conditionality 4 has not been fulfilled yet (end of April). Deployment of rural broadband is of key importance to businesses and citizens in rural areas. The Czech Republic still has to transpose the Cost Reduction Directive 5 which could help to reduce the infrastructural gap. 2 Human Capital In Human capital, the Czech Republic's performance is just above the EU average but its progress is below average. Czechs are relatively digitally skilled with 57% of citizens having at least basic digital skills. The number of STEM (science, technology and mathematics) graduates is stable with 17 per 1000 Czechs aged years old holding this type of degree, the same as in the previous year, and slightly below the EU average. STEM graduates are important drivers for the use of digital in the economy including the most cutting-edge technologies. On 1 July 2015, the government approved the national Digital Literacy Strategy for the period 2015 to 2020, which aims to prepare its citizens to use digital technologies for lifelong personal development and to improve the quality of their lives and societal inclusion. The strategy aims to ensure that the workforce is digitally skilled and supports employees (especially for SMEs and the self-employed) to fully use the potential of digital technologies, lower digital skills gap and increase national competitiveness. The variety of measures included in the Digital Literacy Strategy represents a major step forward in the Czech Republic s digital literacy policy. The Strategy foresees a total financial cost of approximatively 270 Million with the funding coming from the State budget and EU funds. The Czech Republic will greatly benefit from implementing such a comprehensive plan. 3 Use of Internet In the use of Internet services, the Czech Republic's performance is below the EU average and its progress is limited. Czech Internet users engage in a broad range of online activities. Czech Internet users are quite keen on online banking (58%) and online shopping (52%) too. They read the news online, listen to music, watch films and play games online and use the Internet to communicate through social networks. On the other hand, online video calls are much less common. 4 Ex-ante conditionality 2.2. concerning Next Generation network (NGN) Infrastructure in the framework of the European Structural and Investments Funds for the Programming Period is defined as follows: The existence of national or regional NGN Plans which take account of regional actions in order to reach the Union high-speed Internet access targets, focusing on areas where the market fails to provide an open infrastructure at an affordable cost and of a quality in line with the Union competition and State aid rules, and to provide accessible services to vulnerable groups. 5 Directive 2014/61/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on measures to reduce the cost of deploying high-speed electronic communications networks (OJ L155, 23 May 2014, p. 1) Page 10

13 4 Integration of Digital Technology In Integration of digital technologies by businesses the Czech Republic's performance is above the EU average but its progress is limited. Czech SMEs are among the EU leaders in selling online but they are at risk of losing their position, having fallen from the 2nd place the previous year to the 6th place. Despite a slowdown, Czech businesses are taking advantage of the possibilities and benefits offered by digital technologies, both to improve their efficiency and productivity as well as to access wider markets. 23% of SMEs are selling online (vs 16% in the EU) and 12% are doing so cross border (vs 8% in the EU). A national Industry 4.0 initiative ("Průmysl 4.0") was adopted on 15 September The follow-up "Action Plan for the implementation of Industry 4.0" includes measures to support the further development of the digital economy through investment and standardization, applied research, human resources development and continuing education, cyber security and relevant legislation, application of innovative technologies in energy, transport and Smart Cities. Highlight: "Průmysl 4.0" (Industry 4.0) On 15 September 2015 the national initiative Industry 4.0 was adopted. This strategy, which takes stock of the baseline condition of the Czech Republic for the implementation of this latest industrial revolution, has been widened and now deals with issues such as technological assumptions and vision, applied research, standardisation, safety, labour market, educational system and regulatory environment. The long-term objective of this initiative is to maintain and boost the competitiveness of the Czech Republic. The first industrial revolution was the mechanization of production using water and steam power; the second introduced mass production with the help of electricity; the third, the digital revolution, led to the automation of production; the fourth industrial revolution consists of the intelligent networking of product development and production, logistics and customers. 5 Digital Public Services In digital public services the Czech Republic's performance is below the EU average but it's making progress. The Czech Republic has one of the lowest shares of egovernment users in the EU. In 2015, only 12% of internet users sent forms to the public administration online, compared with an EU average of 32%. The low use of online public services reflects deficiencies in the supply of such services. For instance on average only 70% of the steps in a standard interaction with the public administration can be performed entirely online, compared with an EU average of 81%. On 2 November 2015, the Czech government approved the "Strategy for ICT Services Development in Public Administration". The document summarises the actual situation in the development of e- government, including current gaps and inefficiencies. Specific measures include a stronger role for the Government Council for Information Society and attributing the role of watchdog to the Department of the Chief Architect of egovernment at the Ministry of the Interior so that it can oversee the efficiency of public spending in public administration in the ICT area. Under the Integrated Regional Operational Programme co-funded by EU funds, significant allocations are envisaged to finance the development of egovernment services. Another positive policy development is the adoption of a new law for obligatory open data publishing in a machine readable format for all public authorities and the obligatory public administration use of secure Internet domain's names with DNSSEC. Page 11

14 The Czech Republic will greatly benefit from the implementation of the strategy now in place. Using various platforms and funding mechanisms, the EU is contributing to the sharing of best practices between EU Member States - for instance through the Join-up platform through the ISA programme and the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Page 12

15 A report complementing the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 1 country profile DENMARK Denmark ranks first out of the 28 EU Member States in the European Commission Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) Denmark is part of the lagging ahead 3 cluster of countries because it performs better than the EU average but has improved at a slower rate than the EU as a whole. Denmark recorded high performance on all the dimensions measured. Its performance is especially remarkable with regard to use of Internet. In Digital Public Services its growth is above EU average. Although Denmark is progressing slower than the EU average because it is reaching maturity, in the dimension of Human Capital, there is scope for further improvement. Denmark launched in 2012 a 5-year National Investment plan for ICT and Digital Skills 4. This national strategy aims to increase the use of ICT in support of student learning in Danish schools in the period in order to grow demand Denmark's performance in the five DESI dimensions relative to other EU countries for skilled IT-professionals and strengthen digital skills among students in higher education. All in all, Denmark is a world leader in digitisation 5. 1 Connectivity Denmark is performing well and it is making average progress on Connectivity. At international level, however, Denmark's performance is below South Korea and Japan. Denmark has maintained its high coverage of fixed broadband and Next Generation Access 6 (NGA), available to 99% and 92% of homes, respectively. Despite improvements in upload capacity, in line with the aim of the Danish Government action plan to ensure 100% coverage of 30 Mbps upload speeds, NGA in rural areas is only available to 55% of households. This is well below the national 1 The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) is a composite index developed by the European Commission (DG CNECT) to assess the development of EU countries towards a digital economy and society. It aggregates a set of relevant indicators structured around 5 dimensions: Connectivity, Human Capital, Use of Internet, Integration of Digital Technology and Digital Public Services. It clusters countries in four groups: Running ahead, Lagging ahead, Catching up and Falling behind. For more information about the DESI please refer to 2 DESI Country Profile for Denmark: 3 Other lagging ahead countries are Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Sweden and the United Kingdom. 4 An investment of DKK500 Million (approx. 67 Million) have been allocated with a focus in four particular areas, namely (a) develop the market for digital learning resources; (b) gain more knowledge on ICT-based learning; (c) ensure efficient infrastructure in schools and support the use of ICT and digital learning resources through networking and (d) collaboration and knowledge sharing between teachers. 5 I-DESI: 6 Next generation Access includes the following technologies: FTTP, VDSL and Docsis 3.0 cable. Page 13

16 figure of 92% but well above the EU average of 28%. Broadband take-up in Denmark in 2015 was flat, but there was a significant increase of subscriptions to high-speed broadband, accompanied by an increase in mobile broadband uptake, reaching 112 subscriptions per 100 people, third in the EU and still increasing by 3 percentage points. It is relevant to highlight that the roll-out of high-speed network infrastructure is based on private investment. Public funding is only reserved for areas with poor broadband coverage which display a market failure element. Currently, there only 8% of homes in Denmark have no access to broadband networks capable of providing at least 30 Mbps. To promote access to digital opportunities also outside urban areas, the Danish Government has committed to further enhance network quality in rural areas. Between 2016 and 2019 Denmark will dedicate investments of DKK 200 Million (approx. 27 Million). There is some uncertainty as to whether current spectrum assignments - only 68% of the harmonised bands, slightly below the EU average at 69% - and planning are in line with the growing trend towards mobile broadband take-up. 2 Human Capital Denmark is performing well and it ranks 5th among EU countries. However, its growth rate was limited over the last year. Its population as a whole has a very high level of digital skills with 93% of internet users. However, the low share of ICT specialists in the workforce (3.9% and 14th at EU level) could pose challenges to business investment in ICT in the long term. Denmark is performing well regarding graduates holding a STEM (Science, Technology and Mathematics) degree, with 20 graduates per 1000 individuals. With regards to educating skilled IT-professionals, the number of students enrolled in IT education increased by 2,404 from 2007 to Denmark has launched two mapping of activities, of business needs and research and education in the field of cybersecurity, and future needs for digital skills, which will provide a basis for further actions. Businesses carry a great deal of the responsibility for educating their workforce and they should have an ongoing focus and incentive to strengthen digital skills within companies. Furthermore, the Danish government launched two partnerships promoting digitisation in SMEs in specific industries. These partnerships include the Danish Business Authority, industry associations and other private stakeholders. Close public and private cooperation aims to create common ground to further boost the supply of digital skills. Denmark has not yet set up its National Coalition for Growth and Jobs 7, which would be very important to ensure that all the key stakeholders are involved. However, in December 2015, they presented a Digital Skills manifesto with contributions from the government, education and political worlds as well as research and industry 8. The announced strategies will help establish a clear focus on public and private partnerships which will not only encourage ICT professionals but also detect future needs for digital skills. Monitoring outcomes shall be an important element of these activities. 3 Use of internet Danish citizens display a strong propensity to use a variety of services. They are the most advanced in the use of Internet, such as ebanking and online shopping. 82% of Danish internet users shopped online last year and nearly half of them do so cross-border Page 14

17 4 Integration of Digital Technology On the Integration of Digital Technology by businesses, Denmark is performing very well (2 nd out of 28 Member States), well above EU average but behind the US. Progress from last year is limited. The adoption of digital technologies is an important driver of labour productivity growth. Danish businesses do exploit the benefits and possibilities offered by digital technologies with 25% of SMEs selling online and 15% of their turnover coming from this type of commerce. As a matter of fact, almost half of all Danish enterprises (47%) - and 45% of SMEs - have an electronic information sharing system indicating noticeable progress with respect to last year (5 percentage points from %). In Denmark, adoption rates of ebusiness technologies, like einvoices and Cloud services are among the highest in the EU. Denmark has put in place the Industry 4.0. Initiatives overseen by MADE Manufacturing Academy of Denmark, supporting manufacturing industry as it seeks to maintain its leadership position in innovation. This initiative foresees a budget of DKK Million DKK (approx. 25 Million) for the period Digital Public Services Denmark is performing very well and it is making good progress on Digital Public Services. Internationally however it ranks behind US, South Korea and Japan. Positive results from the previous Danish egovernment strategy have led to an even more ambitious new strategy for which will require close cooperation between central government, regions and municipalities as well as public-private corporations. In this new egovernment strategy , 10 central government (1), regions (5) and municipalities (98) work together to deliver results. Its terms of reference define three key milestones of the strategy: (a) a productive and efficient public sector; (b) public services must create value for citizens and businesses; (c) public digitisation must support business growth. On top of that, specific themes have been selected for inclusion in the new strategy, namely automation of public administrative procedures, better user experience for citizens and businesses, digital welfare, data sharing and management of the joint public digitisation efforts, among others. The new egovernment strategy , which still has to be published, will strengthen Denmark's worldwide leading position on Public Service Digitisation. Its previous strategy already set a high level of ambition for the digitization of the public sector and succeeded to a large extent in shifting citizens and businesses to public digital channels MADE Manufacturing Academy of Denmark 10 New egovernment strategy : Strategy 11 New egovernment strategy : Strategy Page 15

18 Highlight: Denmark's digital by default strategy The "digital by default" strategy was at the core of Denmark's egoverment strategy , aiming for 80% of all service requests to be electronic by 2015 and 100% of business communications to be electronic by the end of Indeed, citizens were gradually moved into a digital transition to "mandatory digital self-service" and communication, being at the end able to receive digitally letters, notices and messages from public authorities. These services were introduced in four "waves" up to 2015, one per year from The first wave up to December 2012 included a total of 10 services, such as "basic" online applications. The second wave (December 2013) increased in number and complexity since it included 29 services, from paternity statements to tax forms and passport application. The third wave followed with 27 new services which included applications for allowances and all kind of social benefits. Finally, the fourth wave included 25 additional services, such as health allowances, sickness benefits, and permanent residence permits. All in all, by 2015, there were 91 mandatory digital self-services, which represented 80% of all services within the four waves. Page 16

19 A report complementing the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 1 country profile GERMANY Germany ranks 9th out of the 28 EU Member States in the European Commission Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) Germany is part of the running ahead cluster of countries 3 because its DESI score is above the EU average and the country developed faster than the EU over the last year. In four out of the five DESI dimensions detailed below, Germany outperforms a majority of Member States. The Use of Internet dimension is where Germany made most progress. The only dimension where Germany performs below average is Digital Public Services. In 2014 Germany had adopted its Digital Agenda and in March 2016 the Federal Ministry for Economics presented the Digital Strategy Connectivity Germany's performance in the five DESI dimensions relative to other EU countries Germany is performing well and is making good progress as regards connectivity. Germany is fully covered by basic broadband services (including fixed, mobile and satellite networks) and has wide fixed basic broadband coverage of rural areas, slightly above the EU average (93% of households versus 90.6%). Additionally, the German Government's Digital Agenda sets out the goal to provide at least 50Mbps broadband internet connection nationwide until This will further contribute to bridge the digital divide and is supported by the 2015 federal state aid programme (Bundesförderprogramm) to close the remaining white spots. It is also noteworthy that Germany is the only Member State that has assigned 100% of the overall harmonised spectrum for mobile broadband. Although fixed-line operators have in recent years upgraded their legacy copper and coaxial cable networks, current market share of fibre-based access networks (FTTH and FTTB) is well below the EU average (1.3% versus 8.7%). Consequently, ultrafast networks will increasingly need to install fibre closer to business and household premises or connecting directly to them. 1 The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) is a composite index developed by the European Commission (DG CNECT) to assess the development of EU countries towards a digital economy and society. It aggregates a set of relevant indicators structured around 5 dimensions: Connectivity, Human Capital, Use of Internet, Integration of Digital Technology and Digital Public Services. It clusters countries in four groups: Running ahead, Lagging ahead, Catching up and Falling behind. For more information about the DESI please refer to 2 DESI Country Profile for Germany: 3 Other running ahead countries are Austria, Estonia, Malta, the Netherlands and Portugal ,property=pdf,bereich=bmwi2012,sprache=en,rwb=true.pdf Page 17

20 If Germany wants to move towards ultrafast broadband technology, more investments in fibre upgrades will be necessary. Germany still has to transpose the Cost Reduction Directive 6 which could help to speed up broadband roll-out. 2 Human Capital In the Human Capital dimension, Germany is performing well and making progress. The inhabitants of Germany are regular users of the Internet, more than Europeans on average. They also possess, on average, higher skills: 66% of Germans have basic or above basic digital skills, above the European average of 55%. In % of the workforce were ICT specialists (equal to the EU average of 3.7%) but there were still open vacancies. The potential of the digital economy for growth and jobs is hampered by a shortage of ICT professionals and reluctance or inability to properly exploit the possibilities offered by the Internet and related digital tools. An element of the Digital Agenda is the Digital knowledge society. However, no major coordinated strategy exists for the advancement of digital skills and Germany has no national coalition for digital competences. This being said, there is a wide range of activities by different entities on national 7, regional 8 and local 9 level. A national coalition could facilitate the building of synergies between the different stakeholders for the design and implementation of strategies addressing the shortage of ICT specialists. 3 Use of Internet In Use of Internet services, Germany is performing well and is making good progress. In particular users in Germany tend to use Internet for online shopping more than most other Europeans, although because of the size of the national offer, cross-border transactions are less frequent compared to the European average. 4 Integration of Digital Technology In Integration of digital technologies by businesses, Germany is performing well and is making good progress. German companies are performing Europe-wide best on integrated electronic information sharing and are performing well regarding the use of einvoices. However, German businesses (like German citizens) show reluctance to use social media. German enterprises increasingly take advantage of the possibilities offered by on-line commerce: nearly a quarter of SMEs sell online, and those who sell online make 9.6% of the share of their turnover from those sales. 9.2% of SME are selling online cross-border. In the context of the Digital Agenda the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is implementing a number of policies 10 to respond to the challenges of digitisation, such as Big Data 6 Directive 2014/61/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on measures to reduce the cost of deploying high-speed electronic communications networks (OJ L155, 23 May 2014, p. 1) 7 See for digital learning projects 8 See for example the "Bayern Digital Strategie", targeting digital skills development from early childhood Or for Berlin 9 See for example Digitale Bildung Köln 10 For example Integration of digital technologies: ( Autonomics for Industry 4.0 ( Smart Data - Data Innovations ( Smart Service Welt ( ICT for Electric Mobility III ( Central innovation Program for SMEs ( Collective Research Program (IGF) ( Digitale Technologien für die Wirtschaft Page 18

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